An anonymous reader offers us this bit of educational nostalgia:

"Television has been showing the video of the nun in Florida with the chainsaw, cutting up fallen trees due to Hurricane Irma.

"During the early years of 1950, I spent my elementary school years at a school where all of the teachers were nuns.

"If you misbehaved in any way, the nun would parade you in front of the whole class, make you put out your hand and give you a good slap with her ruler.

"Thank goodness chainsaws were not very available at that time.

"Smiley, please don't use my name if you publish this. One or more of those nuns might still be around."

A spousal lament

Dan Stein, of Baton Rouge, confesses to exhibiting a little pride about solving The Advocate's daily Jumble puzzle — in ink.

Then he discovered that his wife, Mary, "routinely does both the New York Times crossword puzzle and the daily Sudoku puzzle, also in ink, without so much as batting an eyelash.

"The weaker sex? Yeah, right."

Mr. Forgetful

After we mentioned the practice of marrying on your spouse's birthday so your anniversary won't be forgotten, we heard from a lady who told of this experience:

"We were married on his birthday. One week before his birthday (and our first anniversary), he excitedly said, 'Next week is my birthday. Hope you got me something good.'

"My response was to look at him excitedly and say, 'Right! And next week is our first anniversary. Hope you have something good planned for us, too.'

"His face dropped as he said, 'Oh, yeah …hmmm. …'"

Flying with Barry

Roger del Rio says, "Hypolite Landry's around-the-world flying adventure in the Friday column reminded me and my wife, Jerry, of the flights we had with Barry Seal when in high school.

"Barry would take three other people up over Baton Rouge and perform stalls. Everybody was thrilled to experience the weightlessness. This was in mid '50s.

"Like Hypolite said, it was great to be young and not afraid of anything."

Shaking and baking

James Minton says, "If any of your readers were 'shake-and-bake' infantry sergeants during the Vietnam war, there's a website run by Budd Russell, of Ocala, Florida, that has information on the NCOC (Noncommissioned Officer Candidate School) at Fort Benning, Georgia, which turned privates into buck sergeants and staff sergeants in a matter of weeks (hence the 'shake-and-bake' designation).

"The website lists the names of graduates killed in Vietnam for each class and gives surviving graduates the opportunity to make contact with classmates. Go to"

Special People Dept.

  • Oneil J. "Pop" Williams Sr., of Old Metairie, celebrates his 94th birthday Monday, Sept. 18.
  • Natalie Heard Elbourne celebrates her 93rd birthday Monday, Sept. 18.
  • K.O. and Dianne Stafford, of Walker, celebrated 60 years of marriage Aug. 31.
  • Larry and Lory Braud, of Village Charmant Condos in Baton Rouge, celebrated their 57th anniversary Saturday, Sept. 16.
  • Ray and Carolyn Blanchard, of Port Allen, celebrated their 57th anniversary Sunday, Sept. 17.

Dreary midnight blues

Ernie Gremillion, of Baton Rouge, says, "Reading the preposition joke from your Wednesday column to my wife prompted her to recite the entire list of prepositions she was required to memorize in grammar school.

"When she asked if I had to do the same, I replied that I did not — but began to recite, 'Once upon a midnight dreary while I pondered weak and weary. …' from Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Raven,' which I was required to memorize.

"She was not impressed."

(I know, Ernie … this was how various student infractions were dealt with at Istrouma High. I got to know that poem very well indeed. …)

False advertising

Harry Clark, of Lafayette, tells of his disappointing experience:

"I retired in 2000 and after a couple of years got bored.

"I saw a sign at a prominent drive-in restaurant chain that said, 'If you are over 16 and can roller-skate, we have a job for you.'

"Having spent many hours during my teenage years going in circles at the local roller rink, I felt like I qualified.

"They lied!"

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0371 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.